Suffolk, United Kingdom, June 13, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- For the first time, in 2012, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines offered winter cruises to Norway, giving guests a chance to experience the stunning spectacle of the "Aurora Borealis," or "Northern Lights," as well as sampling the proud Norwegian heritage of this long-running cruise line.
This "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise, aboard Boudicca in February 2012, proved an enormous success, with guests lucky enough to experience the amazing "Aurora Borealis," whilst enjoying the novelty of a cruise in winter to Norway.
Regular Fred. Olsen cruisers Geoff and Anja Wilding – who have recently qualified for Fred. Olsen’s Oceans loyalty scheme with fifty-two days’ cruise experience – were so taken with the experience that they wrote a diary of their cruise, superbly illustrated by Anja’s photography:
“We parked about 30 metres from the Finnish border, where at 23.45hrs on 29th February 2012 our efforts were rewarded when we saw an incredible display of Aurora and Anja used her camera to take this photo of the highlight of our visit to Norway and made the trip worth every penny. We got back on the coach and were given hot chocolate and cookies and arrived back at Boudicca at 02.30hrs, exhausted but very happy!”
Other comments on the Fred. Olsen Facebook page include:
Paul Taylor: “This cruise was fully booked so we had to book the same one next February. Hope we are as lucky!”
Sally Nixon: “It was amazing! Seems a long time ago already, a lot of people on the cruise booked for the next one in February 2013 before they even got off the boat!”
The term Aurora Borealis was coined by the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). The array of colours in this atmospheric phenomenon consists of red, blue, violet, and green, and auroras occur around the magnetic poles in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Following the huge success of this inaugural winter Norway cruise, Fred. Olsen has two similar itineraries in winter 2013, both aboard Boudicca and departing from Portsmouth; D1302 departs on 9th February 2013, and D1303 on 25th February 2013, and each cruise is of 16 nights’ duration.
After leaving Portsmouth, Boudicca travels north, making her first call into Molde (Romsdalfjord).This fjord town is famous for two very different things – roses and jazz. Winter visitors will find a very attractive, snowy vista, as well as one of the biggest folk museums in Norway.
After another day at sea, Boudicca reaches Tromsø; it is from here that guests can make their "Northern Lights" pilgrimage. There is a two-night stay in this port, maximising the chances of guests seeing the spectacular sight. Other attractions include the Tromsǿ Wilderness Centre, where visitors can meet some of the 130 huskies. The tours to view the "Northern Lights" take place late at night, because the best chance of a successful display is between 10pm and 2am.
The next port takes Boudicca even farther north, to Altar (Finnmark). This town was rebuilt after the Second World War, so most of the current buildings are relatively modern; however the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times by the indigenous Sami people. From Alta, guests can travel to Hammerfest, which is thought to be the most northerly town in the world.
On her return journey, Boudicca calls into Kristiansund. The old town – "Gamle Byen" – has wooden buildings, as is traditional in Norway, dating from the 17th Century. Kristiansund is close to the Atlantic Road, a series of bridges linking small islands to the mainland and a great feat of engineering.
The final port is Bergen, a cosmopolitan and very attractive town and part of the Hanseatic League; it is a delightful city for a last day of sightseeing and souvenir hunting, before Boudicca sets sail for Portsmouth.
Prices for these two cruises with a difference start from £2,299 per person, based on two adults sharing an outside twin cabin, Grade ‘E’. This price includes all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.
The excursion "Chase for the Northern Lights" departs from Tromsø and takes five to seven hours, and is priced at £70 to £80 per person – advance booking is essential. Guests leave the ship in early evening and are driven into the wilderness; tour guides check in advance to find the most likely place for a successful viewing – although Nature’s most spectacular firework display obviously cannot be guaranteed.